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ISIL Destroys Nimrud

nimrud-archeological-site

The gang calling itself the Islamic State has destroyed another historical site.

Supreme Court Sets Oral Argument In Same-Sex Marriage Cases For April 28th

law-scales-justice-flag

The Supreme Court has set oral argument in the same-sex marriage cases for April 28th: The Supreme Court will hear arguments over same-sex marriage on April 28 and make audio of the proceedings available later that day. The gay marriage cases mark the only time this term that the court has agreed to the quick […]

With Malice Toward None, With Charity Toward All

Lincoln Second Inaugural Address

One hundred fifty years ago today, as Union forces continued their encirclement of Robert E. Lee’ Army of Northern Virginia at Petersburg, Virginia, Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the great Inaugural Addresses in American history: Fellow-Countrymen: At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended […]

Joint Iraqi-Iranian Operations in Tikrit

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Iraqi army and Iranian army in joint offensive to retake Tikrit.

Coffee News (and Another Example of Bad Science Reporting)

intellectual-invention

First comes the spiffy headline via the BBC:  Regular coffee drinkers have ‘cleaner’ arteries Hooray! he thought, between sips of strong, black Colombian… But then, actually reading the article: Drinking a few cups of coffee a day may help people avoid clogged arteries – a known risk factor for heart disease – Korean researchers believe. […]

Some Charts for the Morning: Latin American Economies

travel-suitcase

Via The Telegraph:  Colombia: from failed state to Latin American powerhouse Some regional comparisons:  

In the Company of Misery

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Via Bloomberg:  The 15 Most Miserable Economies in the World. Misery, as in the misery index (“unemployment rate + change in the consumer price index = misery”):

Barbara Mikulski Will Not Run For Re-Election In 2016

us-politics-republicans-democrats

Barbara Mikulski, the longest serving woman in Congressional history, has announced that she will not seek re-election in 2016: Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who has served in Congress longer than any woman in history, announced at a news conference Monday that she will retire from the Senate after five terms in office, three people familiar with her plans said. […]

Politinerds: The Jake Tapper Interview

Politinerds

The week’s episode of Poitinerds features another special guest, Jake Tapper, host of CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper and before that White House Correspondent for ABC News. Jazz Shaw and I talk with Jake about his career in journalism, what it’s like to host a daily news show in an era of fast breaking […]

From the “You Can’t Make this Stuff up” File (TP for Oil Edition)

travel-suitcase

Via Bloomberg:  Tissue Paper-for-Venezuelan Oil Swap Offered by Trinidad. The absurd nature of the headline aside, this is not a funny story at all given the utter disaster that is the Venezuelan economy.  The unnecessary and man-made nature of the the situation just adds to the tragedy.

Speaking of IRV

us-politics

My post on voting for Best Picture (and the ensuing comments) talked quite a bit about IRV (instant run-off voting).  Georgia is presenting a case where IRV might solve a problem (and is, apparently, at least being discussed). Via Peach Pundit:  Finding Alternatives to Runoff Elections Just Got More Urgent One of the most disruptive […]

Early Front-runner for Headline of the Year

money-bankruptcy

Via the BBC:  Urinating man claimed to be Star Trek’s Jean-Luc Picard

Latin American Stall?

travel-suitcase

An ominous headline from The Economist:  Latin America’s progress has stopped For the past three years, the poverty rate has stayed stubbornly at around 28% of the population, according to household surveys collated by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The proportion that is extremely poor (with a daily income of […]

Coffee News

money-bankruptcy

Via ABC:  Up to 5 Cups of Coffee a Day OK, Gov’t Advisory Committee Says You can consume up to 5 cups of coffee a day, or up to 400 milligrams of caffeine, without detrimental effects, according to a new report that will help shape the official government dietary guidelines due out later this year. […]

The Internet is Getting Faster

internet-world-wide-web-spider

Aaron Brazell explains why “THE INTERNET IS ABOUT TO BECOME WAY FASTER.”

Politinerds: The Andrew Malcom Interview

Politinerds

This week on Politinerds, Jazz Shaw and I interview Andrew Malcom, currently a columnist at Investors Business Daily, and previously a national and international correspondent for The New York Times. Andrew’s time in journalism stretches back to the era of the Vietnam War, the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and Watergate. During his time at the Times, […]

Oklahoma Bill Would Ban A.P. U.S. History

Students in Classroom

The Oklahoma Legislature is considering a bill that would ban the teaching of Advanced Placement American History in the state’s public schools: Some lawmakers in Oklahoma want to make Advanced Placement U.S. History history. What’s their beef? The course, which was redesigned by the College Board and implemented in high school classrooms last year, isn’t […]

Washington Monument Shorter Than Previously Thought

washington-monument-address

Surveyors have determined that the Washington Monument is shorter than it has been believed to be for the past century: WASHINGTON (AP) — Government surveyors have determined a new height for the Washington Monument that’s nearly 10 inches shorter than what has been thought for more than 130 years, officials will announce Monday. The new […]

Denmark Terror Attacks and Machine-Gun Censorship

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Yet another attack on religious freedom in Europe.

Barbara Bush Changes Mind on ‘Enough Bushes’

us-politics

Lest there be any doubt, Barbara Bush wouldn’t mind a third POTUS in the family.

Oregon Gets First Openly Bisexual Governor in American History

us-politics

Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown (D) will become the first openly bisexual governor in U.S. history when Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) resigns Wednesday

Nasty Weather

intellectual-invention

Winds gusting to 55 mph took the power out last night around 730 pm and it cycled off and on throughout the night.

Justice Ginsburg “Not 100 Percent Sober” During State Of The Union

Ginsburg Sleeping

During the State of the Union Address in January, cameras caught Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appearing to doze off about half way through the President’s speech. As it turns out, the Justices were apparently partying prior to the big event: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg admits to sharing some wine with her colleagues […]

Democrats Pick Philadelphia For 2016 Convention

Philadelphia skyline

After narrowing the list down to three cities, the Democratic Party has chosen Philadelphia as the site of their nominating convention in 2016: The 2016 Democratic National Convention will take place in Philadelphia, according to a committee statement. The convention will take place on July 25. Republicans will host their convention in Cleveland the week […]

Montana State Legislator Wants To Ban Yoga Pants

Picard Facepalm

A lawmaker in Montana wants to outlaw yoga pants: HELENA — A Montana lawmaker is seeking to strengthen the state’s indecent exposure law, stopping just short of his wish to outlaw yoga pants. Rep. David Moore on Tuesday introduced House Bill 365 in the House Judiciary Committee in response to a group of naked bicyclists […]

From the “You Can’t Make this Stuff up” File

travel-suitcase

Via NPR:  China Seizes Toilet Tissue Featuring Likeness Of Hong Kong Leader.

Another Sign That Elizabeth Warren Isn’t Running For President

Fed Chairman Bernanke Semi-Annual Monetary Policy Report To Senate Committee

Matthew Yglesias points to a major new hire by Hillary Clinton’s growing Presidential campaign team that is a seemingly clear sign that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is not running for President: An awful lot of people in progressive politics would like to see Elizabeth Warren run for president, but the latest sign that it’s not […]

Thailand’s Air Chief Marshall Foo Foo The Poodle Cremated

money-bankruptcy

No, really: The beloved miniature poodle of Thailand’s crown prince has been cremated after four days of Buddhist funeral rights – an extravagance that’s surprising until one realizes that Foo Foo formally served as the country’s Air Chief Marshall. In a diplomatic cable revealed by WikiLeaks, the U.S. ambassador to Thailand, Ralph “Skip” Boyce, wrote […]

Harper Lee To Release New Book, Sequel To ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’

Atticus Finch

Harper Lee, who became an international sensation with the publication of To Kill A Mockingbird, which itself was turned into one of the greatest movies ever made, is coming out with a new book after fifty long years of relative silence: “To Kill a Mockingbird” will not be Harper Lee’s only published book after all. Publisher Harper […]

Super Bowl Sets Another Television Viewership Record

Super Bowl XLIX

Once again, the Super Bowl broke viewership records to become the most watched television broadcast in history: Super Bowl XLIX surged to break multiple records on Sunday night, raking in 114.4 million viewers to become the most-watched telecast in U.S. history. Overnight ratings, based on metered markets, however, suggest that a new record was set […]

George Pataki For President?

Campaign 2016

George Pataki, who served three terms as New York’s Governor from 1995  to 2006, is apparently thinking of running for President for some reason: Former New York Gov. George Pataki told Fox News on Monday he’s “seriously” exploring a 2016 Republican bid for president. The former governor said he plans to travel to New Hampshire […]

Most Tweeted Super Bowl Ever

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The most tweeted Super Bowl ever, lit up like Christmas in one awesome map

The Original ‘Star Wars’ Film

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Opening crawl of 1977 version

We Won’t Have Mitt Romney to Kick Around Anymore

us-politics

After weeks of giving every indication that he’s running for president yet again, Mitt Romney has announced that he’s not a candidate for 2016.

Romney Leads GOP Pack In Yet Another Poll

meh-romney

A new Fox News Poll continues the trend showing Mitt Romney leading the field of prospective 2016  candidates: Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remain the front-runners for their respective party’s presidential nominations. In addition, Romney performs best against Clinton among the Republicans tested in hypothetical head-to-head matchups, coming […]

Small Drone Crashes On White House Lawn

the-white-house-facing-south

A device that has since been identified as a “small drone” was found early this morning on the White House lawn: A small drone was found on the White House grounds early Monday, news reports said, but officials said it was recovered and posed no ongoing threat. White House press secretary Josh Earnest, speaking to […]

Syriza Wins Greek Elections

travel-suitcase

The anti-“austerity” party Syriza has won a commanding victory in Greece’s parliamentary elections: Greece’s far-left Syriza party, which seeks to renegotiate Greece’s loan deals with Europe’s central authorities, won the largest share of seats in the Hellenic Parliament in historic elections Sunday, capturing 35.5 percent to 39.5 percent share according to exit polling. Syriza’s victory […]

State Of The Union Ratings Hit 15 Year Low

2014 State Of The Union

Last Tuesday’s State of the Union Address saw the lowest viewership numbers of any of those that President Obama has delivered and the lowest in fifteen years: Television viewership for President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night fell to a 15-year low, according to numbers from Nielsen. The 1-hour, 15-minute speech drew an average […]

I will Believe it When I see it

us-politics

Via WaPo:  Jeb Bush previews 2016 run, promising ‘adult conversations’ on big issues. I would adore such a conversation.  Alas, my experience with US campaigns makes we skeptical.  (And that observation is not aimed at Bush, but is a general observation).

Ebola Infection Rate In West Africa Dropping

Ebola Virus

The World Health Organization reports that the Ebola infection rate in West Africa appears to be dropping: GENEVA — The number of people falling victim to the Ebola virus in West Africa has dropped to the lowest level in months, the World Health Organization said on Friday, but dwindling funds and a looming rainy season […]

Another Use for Drones

us-politics

Via the BBC:  Drone carrying drugs crashes near US-Mexico border A drone carrying more than six pounds (2.7kg) of methamphetamine has crashed near Mexico’s border with the US. Mexican police in Tijuana say they were alerted to an unidentified object in a car park of a shopping centre. “The drone had packages taped to it […]

Ernie Banks, MLB Hall Of Famer And “Mr. Cub,” Dies At 83

Ernie Banks

Ernie Banks, who spent all of his 19 Major League seasons with the Chicago Cubs and became a joyous Ambassador for baseball itself in retirement, has died at the age of 83: Ernie Banks, the greatest power-hitting shortstop of the 20th century and an unconquerable optimist whose sunny disposition never dimmed in 19 seasons with […]

Pope: Don’t Breed Like Rabbits. Or Use Birth Control.

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Pope Francis continues his world tour and has issued a paradox from his private jet.

The Global 1%

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Richest 1% to own more than rest of world, Oxfam says The wealthiest 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world’s population, according to a study by anti-poverty charity Oxfam. The charity’s research shows that the share of the world’s wealth owned by the richest 1% increased from 44% […]

John Kerry Outsources American Foreign Policy To James Taylor

John Kerry JJames Taylor

With some still criticizing the Administration for not sending a higher-ranking officials to Sunday’s unity rally in Paris, Secretary of State John Kerry decided it might be a good idea to stop by Paris on the way home from India. And, to show our French friends that America stands beside them in the fight against […]

Pope Francis: One Cannot Make Fun of Faith

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Pope Francis has earned a reputation as a liberal in comparison to recent predecessors but he’s no liberal.

Paul Ryan Not Running For President

ryan

Although his name has frequently been mentioned as a candidate for President in 2016, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is making clear he has no intention of running: Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who was his party’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, announced Monday that he will not run for president in 2016. Ryan, the new […]

Next Charlie Hebdo Cover Has Muhammad Saying ‘Je suis Charlie’

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Their editor and nine colleagues dead, their offices destroyed, the newspaper is not missing a beat.

Chris Christie Lampooned as Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader

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The enmity against New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for daring to root for the rival Dallas Cowboys has reached new lows, with the state’s newspapers lampooning him as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.  The Trentonian put this on its Friday cover: This follows Star-Ledger cartoonist Drew Sheneman‘s “Christie Does Dallas” parody earlier in the week:   Sheneman’s logic is […]

German Newspaper Firebombed After Republishing Charlie Hebdo Images

military-soldier-sunset

The terrorism wave that began with the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices has not ended with the killing of the perpetrators. A follow-on attack has occurred in Germany and there are reports of “sleeper cells” being activated in France.

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